Former international cricketers Michael Hussey and Ryan Harris will join the support staff of the Australia men's team ahead of their Twenty20 international series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan this year.
Hussey is appointed as a mentor, while Harris will take over as the team's bowling coach, replacing Troy Cooley, who was in charge during the Ashes series in England earlier this year. Australia's preparation for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 at home begins with the back-to-back three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka and later Pakistan, the first of which begins on 27 October.
Head coach Justin Langer is confident that both Hussey and Harris will add great value to the camp. "I can't tell you how influential these guys can be on the group," Langer told News Corp. "It's about building our leadership, about honing their skills as cricketers, and they can just complement the other guys who are full-time coaches. It's nice to have different voices and different eyes and see guys of that calibre giving us feedback on what they see."
"It’s the one global trophy that has eluded the men’s team so far and we won’t get a better opportunity than on home soil next year."— ICC (@ICC) October 19, 2019
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Langer has been following the principle of getting former players to mentor the side ahead of major tournaments. He had Ricky Ponting help him during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, where Australia lost to hosts and eventual champions England in the semi-finals, after having finished second in the round-robin stage.
Ponting was replaced by his predecessor and arguably one of the finest captains in the history of game, Steve Waugh, for the Ashes, which ended in a 2-2 draw. Waugh played an instrumental role in Australia retaining the urn for the first time in England since 2001, when he himself had lead the team to a 4-1 win. The Aaron Finch led T20 side will now be under the able guidance of Hussey, who was one of their most consistent performers across formats during his playing days.
Australia's best performance in T20 World Cups had come during the 2010 edition held in West Indies, where they had finished as runners-up, losing to England in the final. Hussey, whose heroic 24-ball 60* had helped Australia seal a dramatic win in the semi-finals against Pakistan, is now keen on getting his preparations right to help the men's team lift their maiden T20 World Cup title.
"I'm very excited actually. I'm really looking forward to getting back in around the Aussie team," Hussey said. "They are going to be trying to get strategies in place, develop a style of play and what players they want and I love all that stuff — planning for a big event. They have floated the possibility of being involved closer to the T20 World Cup as well but it's all pretty loose at the moment."
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